Greenfield's Banton stays in shape to save lives

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GREENFIELD — As part of IndyCar’s Holmatro Safety Team, Steve Banton could be navigating both sides of the wall in the blistering hot pits at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He could be on a safety truck in Toronto tasked with evaluating the seriousness of a driver’s injures.

He could be traversing the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, carrying tools.

Through it all, Banton credits running for keeping him in top shape, which allows him to not only keep an eye on IndyCar drivers and their crews, but residents of Indianapolis as a firefighter, paramedic and a CPR instructor.

“I feel like an example that leading a healthy lifestyle slows the aging process, but still being able to help others without completely slowing down by now is of the most value to me,” said Banton, an Indianapolis native who moved to Greenfield in 1995.

In 1985, Banton began his firefighting career in Washington Township, and his love for running commenced not long after he started rescuing people for a living.

“Before joining the fire service, I had never been committed to fitness, but only looked at it casually,” Banton said. “Then when the guys invited me to join their running club on the fire department – where we competed in running races of all distances, triathlons or stair climbs against other fire departments – I not only got hooked on the camaraderie of the events, but the benefits were physical, second, and mental, first.

“I could train and the roads would take me wherever, but the time training would take my mind to ‘the runner’s high,’ where I could either relax and think about nothing, or I could contemplate about something important.”

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